Garden City, KS-When Jeff Sims arrived on campus in December, 2014, his goals included more than just winning.
The first thing you see when you walk into the football offices at Garden City Community College is a map of all the four-year schools across the country. If you move your eyes to the table that sits in front of that map, you'll find scholarship offers from different, Power-5 conferences. It's part of a promise that Sims takes very seriously.
"We want to get these guys graduated," he said. "The football is the easy part. But once these guys get it done in the classroom, they can play football anywhere they want."
They don't call it Opportunity USA for nothing.
16 players from the National championship squad will be playing at four-year universities in the fall with one of them declaring for the NFL draft.
Starting linebacker Alex Figueroa, who was an all-conference selection, signed with the University of Central Oklahoma while Andrew Plank, who filled in for Figueroa during the two games the veteran backer had to sit because of suspension, inked with Division-II Arkansas-Monticello of the Great American Conference.
National Championship Game most valuable player Peyton Huslig, who threw the game-winning touchdown pass with 30 seconds remaining to beat Arizona Western, will now be the starting signal caller for Missouri State. Huslig took over the starting duties in week five vs. Butler and rewarded the coaching staff with a 311-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 43-0 rout of the Grizzlies. It was the first time Butler had been shutout in a game in 25 years.
The man on the other end of that game-winning touchdown in the title game-wide receiver Harley Hazlett, signed with Fort Hays State. Offensive lineman Arlington Hambright signed with Oklahoma State while Cody Jennings landed at the University of South Dakota. Malcolm Howard, who blocked a punt and recovered a fumble for a touchdown vs. Arizona Western, is headed to Adams State in Colorado as is wide receiver Tim Arno.
Offensive lineman Jonathon Jensen, who did not start on a powerhouse Hutchinson team in high school, will suit up for Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford, Okla. Linebacker Delshawn Phillips, who committed to Arizona before the season, changed his mind and signed with Lovie Smith and the University of Illinois. Linebacker Jamie Tago, who transferred from Hawaii and committed to Kansas in the Spring, is headed back to the Aloha state, signing with Hawaii once again.
Then there's Jeremy Faulk, the 2015 National Defensive Player of the Year. Faulk signed with an agent and filed his paperwork to enter the NFL Draft. Faulk, who spent time at Florida Atlantic before starring for Sims in 2015, returned to the Broncbusters after transferring from Baylor in the Spring.
Complete list of mid-year transfers
1) Lonnie Johnson, DB, University of Kentucky
2) Delshawn Phillips, LB, University of Illinois
3) Arlington Hambright, OL, Oklahoma State University
4) Cody Jennings, OL, University of South Dakota
5) Jonathon Jensen, OL, Southwest Oklahoma State University
6) Nathan Hale, OL, Fort Hayes State University
7) Alex Figueroa, LB, University of Central Oklahoma
8) Andrew Plank, LB, University of Arkansas – Monticello
9) Tim Arno, WR, Adams State University
10) Peyton Huslig, QB, Missouri State University
11) Harley Hazlett, WR, Fort Hayes State University
12) Trey Bender, FS, McPherson College
13) Kiefer Craig, WR, Kansas Wesleyan
14) Derek Jones, RB, Langston College
15) Malcolm Howard, FS, Adams State University
16) Jamie Tago, DL, University of Hawaii